Hello Caps and Corks: LA Street Foods!

Hello Caps and Corks: LA Street Foods!

Just this February 2020; I wrote about Caps and Corks a newly opened liquor store in Torrance, California that was offering some amazing food via breakfast burritos and submarine sandwiches. Their food quickly gained a lot of popularity in the South Bay community and beyond. Now there’s another reason for foodies to rejoice as Caps and Corks recently just debuted a new LA Street Foods menu!

It was just Cinco de Mayo this week and the timing could not have been more perfect to try the new tacos that are part of their LA Street Foods Menu. It was a double celebration as it was not only Cinco de Mayo but also Taco Tuesday!

They offer three types of street tacos; carne asada, pollo or al pastor. All the street tacos are on corn tortillas with the customer’s chosen meat along with toppings of cilantro, onion and spicy or mild salsa.

Happy Cinco de Mayo indeed as these tacos were quite tasty! I tried all the meats and thought each one had it’s own unique flavor. I would have to say though my favorite was the Al Pastor as I thought the seasoning really stuck out. The pork was also perfectly tender. I will definitely be back for these tacos regardless of whether it is (taco) Tuesday or not.

Another reason for me to come back to Caps and Corks is to try the rest of their new LA Street Foods menu. In addition to tacos they have burritos; quesadillas and hot diggity dogs! Yes! You read it right they’re offering a variety of different hot dogs offered the same way as what you’d find at your local LA street vendor back in the day (pre-quarantine!) and yes this includes bacon wrapped hot dogs!

The new additions to Caps and Corks menu are definitely a fiesta for the tummy and can’t wait to try the other offerings.

Hello Taqueria Gardena!

Hello Taqueria Gardena!

Pacific Square in Gardena; home to fabulous eateries such as Sweet Rice and Happy Lemon now has a new addition that will add even more deliciousness to the area. Taqueria Gardena just opened up this December 2019 and it is quickly becoming the go-to spot for tacos.

The new taqueria offers Tijuana style tacos topped with cilantro, onions, guacamole and salsa all on fresh made tortillas. One can get fish tacos, shrimp tacos, cachete tacos, suadero tacos, carne asada tacos, al pastor tacos and chicken tacos. There are even specialty tacos with cauliflower mole, portobello and enoki mushroom, pork belly and spicy fried chicken. Tacos are definitely not just for Tuesdays anymore! ūüėČ

I recently visited and had some tasty taco treats!

I chose to get the al pastor tacos and chicken tacos. The flavor profile on these tacos are excellent. I love the spicy kick; the creamy texture and the chargrill on the meats. For a more fiery flavor; I even added some of their extra spicy salsa that they offer. This extra spicy salsa contains nuts and is made fresh by the same lady who makes their fresh made tortillas.

The tacos here are fantastic but they offer even more! They’ve got quesadillas, nachos and even Mexican fried rice!

Yes; you read that correctly! This taqueria offers fried rice and I knew i just had to check it out. Their version of Mexican fried rice can be purchased con carne (with meat) or sin carne (without meat).

I chose to get it with carne asada and was presented with a beautiful plate of loaded fried rice. It was topped with scrambled eggs, guacamole, chunks of carne asada and drizzles of sour cream. Yum! Similar to the tacos it was full of flavor. Fried rice has never been so unique.

Overall Taqueria Gardena is a great add to my favorite Pacific Square plaza in Gardena. I will definitely be stopping by again in the future (after some Hello Kitty shopping at the neighboring Sanrio Surprises) ;).

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Taqueria Gardena.

Hello The Brews Hall!

Hello The Brews Hall!

The first ever multi-concept brewery and food hall in Torrance, California has opened up. The soft opening was held on November 2, 2019 and a ribbon cutting was held on November 13. Today; November 18, 2019; they had an official grand opening party!

The Brews Hall consists of two breweries, a full bar and four food concepts. It’s the brain child of famous South Bay restauranteur restaurateurs Michael and David Zislis and Dave Furano. These three restaurant gurus then partnered with Comedian George Lopez and sports broadcaster Colin Cowherd.

The two breweries inside are Buzzrock Brewing Co; a four-vessel, 20-bbl brewhouse with 17 fermenting vessels and 12 serving vessel custom designed by Michael Zislis and brewmaster Justinian Caire and George Lopez‚Äôs Ta Loco Brewing Co; a brewery offering Mexican-style beers.

This place is not just for beer lovers however as foodies will love all the food offerings that they have.

Foodies who love fried chicken will love Chicken T.W.I.LI (The Way I Like It).  They’ve got sandwiches, tenders and wings; just the way you like it!

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I tried their Fried T.W.I.LI and it instantly hit the top of my list of best sandwiches I’ve ever tried. It consisted of a huge crispy buttermilk fried chicken patty smothered with remoulade, topped with tomatoes and lettuce and sandwiched between two buttery buns. No need to go all the way to the South to have good fried chicken because you can find it right here in the South Bay!

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays because George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen offering tasty tacos and other authentic Mexican cuisine every day at The Brew Hall! The menu is based off of George‚Äôs grandmother‚Äôs traditional recipes and one can enjoy fresh guacamole, tacos, burritos and even loaded Cabo stuffed potatoes.

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I tried the Crispy Tacos with citrus marinated chicken. It was topped with lettuce, cheese, cream and salsa mexicana. It was was crispy, delightful and definitely something to “taco” about.

Take me out to the Ball Game and to The Herd. The Herd by Sports broadcaster Colin Cowherd brings to The Brews Hall some burgers, bets and brews! Here one can catch the latest games and scores in multi-screens that are the backdrop of the counter where folks will place their order.

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Bases are loaded with the Bases Load Fries with fries, bacon, cheese, green onions and garlic aioli. It was definitely a home run with these tasty and savory fries!

Last but not least is Rock N’ Fish Grill! This place is seafood lovers paradise with various fresh fish offerings including fish n’ chips and cornmeal battered crispy fish sandwich. They also offer Rock N’ Fish’s famous New England Clam Chowder.

The Brews Hall offers something for everyone. Whether it be a group of friends who want to enjoy happy hour or a family of four who want to bond over burgers and fries; The Brews Hall is the place to be!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on The Brews Hall.

 

 

 

Hello El Barrio Neighborhood Tacos!

Hello El Barrio Neighborhood Tacos!

Located on busy Aviation Blvd in Redondo Beach is the equally busy El Barrio Neighborhood Tacos! The taco shop just opened up this summer and officially had it’s grand opening today, September 1. Ever since it’s opening one can see the hustle and bustle of folks coming in and out to enjoy the taqueria.

The brains behind the new eatery are actually two culinary personnel very familiar with the South Bay scene; Ulises Pineda-Alfaro and Jesse Duron. They both work at Umi by Hamasaku, a sushi restaurant located at The Point in El Segundo. Pineda-Alfaro is the chef and Duron is the general manager of the sushi restaurant. Both thought it was time to bring some good tacos to the South Bay and good tacos they indeed brought.

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The menu primarily focuses on eight tacos: Gobernador (shrimp), Carne (mesquite grilled hangar steak), Birria (stewed US Wagyu beef), Al Pastor (split roasted Beelers pork), Pork Belly carnitas (crispy pork belly), Chicken Tinga (Mary’s chicken), Cauliflower con Mole (roasted cauliflower) and Nopal (Roasted cauliflower)

The tacos are all served on housemaid corn tortilla and you can actually see them make the tortillas right there. They are made using masa from heirloom, non-GMO corn raised by a collective of family farms in Oaxaca, sourced through the Sawtelle masa company Masienda. I will have to say these tortillas are the best. Fresh and warm; they’re excellent no matter what meat you choose.

Speaking of meat; each of their meat is perfect topped with sauces or cheeses that truly compliment their flavoring. The Birria; US Wagyu beef brisket comes with oozing tomato salsa emulsion while the Pork Belly Carnitas have tomatillo salsa and cilantro. They’re simply delightfully delicious.

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Aside from tacos they also have Mulitas which are served on two if the housemaid tortillas and come with melted cheese, escabeche and salsa. You can choose one of the eight meat offerings.

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They also have Tortas which are served on artisan Telera roll, shaved lettuce, onion, tomato, guacamole crema, salsa and pickle escabeche. These tortas are gigantic. They’re not only big on size but big on fillings and taste!

No matter whether you want a taco, mulita or torta; you will sure to love this new neighborhood taqueria. The grand opening today is offering 50% off all taco, mulitas and tortas. Adelante on over to El Barrio Neighborhood Tacos!

For more smiles, please my Yelp Review on El Barrio Neighborhood Tacos and check out the El Barrio Neighborhood Tacos website.

Hello Calo Kitchen and Tequila!

Hello Calo Kitchen and Tequila!

Ever since¬†Apollo Landing opened up in El Segundo, I have eagerly awaited for what restaurants would be added to the plaza. They were already home to my favorite¬†Philz Coffee El Segundo¬†and¬†Shake Shack; and I was excited to see what other delights would be coming. I’m happy to say that the new¬†Calo Kitchen¬†that opened up is now on the top of my favorite restaurants ever.

Calo Kitchen just opened up this Fall 2018 and it is already one place that I really love and enjoy dining at. It’s a beautiful two-story restaurant with the bottom floor dedicated to an open kitchen and bar and the second floor dedicated to a more private setting with a view. Not only is the restaurant modern and chic; the service and food is top-notch.

I love anything “From The Grill.” My favorite is ¬†their Short Rib Enchiladas. This is the entree that they have me wanting to come back here again and again.

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The Short Rib Enchiladas are topped crispy onions and home-made creamy short rib sauce. Their short rib sauce truly makes this dish a winner. It brings so much flavor to the dish. I also liked the touch of crispy onions as it brings a nice pleasant crunch to the enchiladas. The short rib inside itself is perfectly tender. This dish comes with rice and their fabulous black beans! (Note: The black beans are also served complimentary with their chips and they are simply to die for. They are made with pork broth and definitely one of the tastiest beans I’ve ever had!)

Another favorite dish of mine is Carmelita’s Ribeye Tacos.

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These are no ordinary tacos! The ribeye comes in small skillet. There are tender strips of ribeye baked over melted cheese, mushrooms, and onions. It comes with your choice of flour or corn tortillas as well as guacamole, rice and beans. It reminds me slightly of a fajitas yet is different because of the melted cheese. It’s tasty, unique and just simply delightful!

The savory dishes are a winner but one shouldn’t pass off the sweets either. Save room for dessert folks!

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The churros here are special. They come with a surprise in the middle and as you bite in, dulce de leche filling oozes out. These hot and crunchy churros are then topped with vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate. It’s a dessert lovers dream come true!

Even the cappuccino at Calo Kitchen is amazing.

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The cappuccino has hints of dark chocolate and a perfect way to end a meal here.

Overall Calo Kitchen is one of my favorite places to open up this 2018 and I cannot wait to be here again!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Calo Kitchen and Tequila.

Hello Tocaya Organica at The Point!

Hello Tocaya Organica at The Point!

Ever since The Point opened up in El Segundo, California; I have been a fan! It truly is a premier destination to shop and dine at.  From Italian pastas at North Italia to burgers at Hopdoddy;  this Hello Kitty Foodie has enjoyed it all.  Adding on to the diverse dining family at The Point is yet another wonderful restaurant; Tocaya Organica.

First founded in Venice in 2016, Tocaya Organica also has locations in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Playa Vista and Century City. This Tocaya Organica at The Point is the sixth Tocaya Organica location.

Tocaya Organica is a modern organic Mexican restaurant that is all about always sustainable, always fresh, always sustainable cuisine. They offer a variety of salads, tacos, bowls and burritos that are made out of the highest quality ingredients paired with bold flavors.

One of the things I enjoyed at Tocaya Organica is the ability to customize your taco, bowl or burrito with your choice of protein or queso. For meats, you have a variety of choices from carne asada to vegan picadillo. Cheese choices range from queso fresco to vegan chipotle jack.

For the bowls, one of their most popular items is the Fajita Del Rey bowl.

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The Fajita Del Rey bowl comes with saut√©ed poblano peppers, onions, spanish rice, black beans, vegan chipotle cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. I chose to get it with Tocaya Organic’s very special vegan picadillo. This is their own picadillo recipe featuring their house made¬†pea-based protein that has ¬†carrots, zucchini, onions, potatoes & tomatoes. The picadillo was made perfectly. It was soft and tasty and went well with the rice and guacamole. I combined this with the zesty flavors of tapioca, arrowroot & chipotle that came from the Vegan chipotle jack. This bowl full of vegan delights was simply amazing.

The bowls are awesome but so are their tacos too. I highly recommend getting their taco combo plate which gives you a little taste of everything because it comes with your choice of two sides and a drink.

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For the tacos, similar to the bowls; you can choose your protein and queso. I got the Cali Green taco with marinated shredded beef and manchego cheese and the Barrio Style taco with achiote chicken and jalepeno jack. Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays friends! If you dine at Tocaya Organica; you’ll want them every day! The bold flavors of the tacos are sure to please your palate. Pair these up with some of their amazing sides and you’ll sure to be in heaven. I truly enjoyed by side of tortilla soup that had large chunks of avocado inside along with¬†tomato, roasted bell pepper, vegan mozzarella and crispy tortilla strips. I also had a side of their soft and sweet corn tamale. Tacos plus sides equals happy foodie, happy tummy. Best of all this is all healthy! Healthy, happy eats!

As I mentioned, the taco combination comes with a drink as well. You do not want to miss their great iced teas, aguas frescas and limeades. My favorite is the watermelon but their cucumber mint and strawberry basil are also very refreshing!

Tocaya Organica at The Point is a great place to enjoy customized organic Mexican eats. It’s a wonderful addition to one of the best plazas in El Segundo!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Tocaya Organica at The Point.

Hello Yelp Elite Event: Cocktails & Cars Casino Royale Style!

Hello Yelp Elite Event: Cocktails & Cars Casino Royale Style!

So fancy! Busted out the cocktail dress, dancing shoes for one special night last night at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo. It was the Cocktails and Cars Casino Royale Style Yelp Elite Event to kick off spring!

With the amazing drop box of this premier museum showcasing cherished old automobiles, all of us Yelp elites were in for one amazing treat. The night was full of entertainment and good times.¬†Todd Elliot Entertainment brought a magician for some magic and amazement. The Swing Dames brought us back to the 40s’ with their lovely voices and LA Pix DJs¬†had us all dancin’ the night away.

It was also foodie galore with some fabulous food booths. Feelin’ fancy and feelin’ full after all the delicious treats!

From Pink’s Hot Dogs, I got to enjoy a turkey dog with chili and cheese. Hearty, meaty and simply classic just like the classic cars we were surround with. It was perfect with¬†Essentia Water

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Wanu Water put a little more fun in the night with their black cherry and peach passion water. 10 essential nutrients and 10 calories per serving!

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Tacos Primo gave us the VIP treatment with fresh made carne asada beef and  al pastor pork.

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These tacos were the perfect match with Siete tortilla chips.

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New York Food Company booth brought out soft and savory kimchi pork buns and cucumber shots.

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The fancy night continued with some fabulous drinks.

I was introduced to Tentera Coffee Roasters and instantly became a fan because of their good cause.¬†Tentera means ‘good causes’.¬†2% of all Tentera coffee sales are currently donated to their partners which include the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and 1% For The Planet. I loved their pour over coffee and how I instantly had a fresh brewed medium roast.

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More fun drinks were to be found at Happy Lemon. Salted cheese drinks are their most popular offering and I was so happy to see that along with their Sunmerry Bakery rainbow roll cake.

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The rainbow roll cake from Happy Lemon was just the start of the delightful desserts that evening because there were not one but two places to get ice cream!

Smitten Ice Cream brought out some of their best flavored nitrogen ice cream flavors such as earl grey, cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips, strawberry buttermilk. They even had their chocolate vegan pops! I chose to get my all time uh-mazing favorite the cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips. I drizzled some brown sugar caramel over the ice cream and was in sweet heaven!

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Not to be outdone was Wanderlust Creamery. I felt like as I was in an around the world trip as I had Ube Malted Crunch flavor inspired by the Philippines, Sticky Rice Mango inspired by Thailand and Japanese Neopolitan inspired by Japan. The Ube Malted Crunch had malted milk and real sweet purple jam. The Sticky Rice mango had house made real milk coconut cream and swirls of alphonso mango puree. The Japanese Neopolitan had a trio of Japanese classics; match, hojica and black sesame.

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Cookie Zombie  incorporated our favorite kid snacks into their cookies! That night they had Snack Time cookies that had King size Twix, salty pretzels and Heath Bar bits, Circus animal cookies with Circus Animal bits; and Cookies and Cream can lies with Crushed Oreo cookies & Ghirardelli white chocolate chips. Their Cookies and Cream cookies were the winner of Best Homemade Cookie at Cookie Con LA!

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Cheesecake de Granger¬†had cheesecake cupcakes. They had lemon, Welch’s grape and peanut butter and jelly cheesecake cupcakes!

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From entertainment to food; The Automobile Driving Museum was one happening place that evening. Surrounded with 130 plus vintage, antique and muscle cars; it was one classic evening. I could not have asked for a better way to kick off spring!

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For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review  on Cocktails and Cars Casino Royale Style Yelp Elite event.